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KARL posted an article in FeaturesThey are every arachnophobes nightmare, eight-legged terrors who stalk the corners of our rooms strike fear in the hearts of many. At this time of year they are seemingly invading our homes like an army of tiny soldiers intent on taking over. Of course the reality is most are actually quite harmless and in the Autumn months they only have one thing on their tiny minds and it is SEX and make babies. Over the past few months the populations have grown to huge levels and some scientists say that there could be as many as 10 Billion of them looking to cop a squat in our homes over the coming months. One of the most common spiders often found in UK homes is the Wolf Spider, it can bite if provoked and they can also inject a venom which can produce localised swelling, mild pain and itching in some people. You have to really make it angry to get such a reaction from them though. Most species of Spiders in the UK won't bite you though, you are not on their menu. At this time of year, male house spiders of all species leave their webs and start wandering in search of females. As the days grow shorter and colder, they head indoors to get 'Jiggy' with each other and any warm dry corner will do, they are not picky so long as they can get it on with each other in relative comfort. For people who are arachnophobic (fear spiders) this can become a huge problem, however, there are some really easy ways to prevent the home invaders from taking up residence in your sanctuary, your home, your castle... Firstly these little blighters can pretty much get through any gap, windows, air vents, and any other openings are an open invite to them. Furthermore, spiders get inside buildings in spots where cables, pipes, and plumbing lines are connected if there are any small gaps around the area. You can reduce the number of places where spiders get inside your home by checking for potential openings and sealing up as many as you can. If you have vents then consider buying some fine mesh to place over them as they are an easy access route for our furry legged friends. Regular vacuuming of your home really helps, be sure to get the Hoover/Dyson behind the settee and avoid having clutter around the home as it offers them places to hide out. If a room is left vacant, close the door, if possible fit draught excluders to the bottom of them as they not only prevent spiders from moving from room to room but they also have the added benefit of keeping your heating bills down too. There are a number of pest control items on the market but if you are not one to opt for chemical warfare then you could also go for a nice stroll in your local park and look for horse chestnuts (Conkers). It would seem there is an old wives take that those fearless wall climbers have a huge dislike of them. Although it has never been scientifically proven. Spiders don’t eat conkers or lay eggs in them, so there is no reason why horse chestnut trees would bother to produce spider-repelling chemicals. One proven thing which Spiders really dislike is the smell of mint and other essential oils like tea-tree, they avoid them like the biblical plague, so dilute some into an old spray bottle and go around your skirting boards and furniture. You should remember though that rather than spiders being our mortal enemies intent on doing battle for your toilet with you, they are extremely useful to the planet, so if possible try and avoid squishing them. They eat pests and keep our homes from becoming overrun by earwigs, flies, moths etc... By eating those pests they help prevent disease from spreading. YOU are not a food source for THEM. For as much as you imagine them as wanting to eat you alive, they really have no interest, although if you happen to have Jeff Goldblum over for a brew then give him the heads up. Overall they are good for our environment, they help protect crops (Our Food) by taking out the bugs that feast on them, truth is, without them we would have to rely far more on chemicals to do the same job and that is never a good thing. So next time you are about to flush Incy Wincy down the drain or evict him from the front room, try and place him/her somewhere that is warm and dry like a shed.